Our AlphaGraphics Social Media Activities Can Use a Lot of Improvement In Promoting Our Printing Business
I spent the last couple of days reading “Inbound Marketing” by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. I was attracted to this book because I am a fan of David Meerman Scott and he highly endorsed this book. I will say that, at first, I thought the book to be a little simplistic since I have been studying this area for awhile. However, as I got deeper and deeper into the book, I started to think about all the good advice that I was not following. I wish I had read this book a few months ago before I started on my Social Media journey I highly recommend this book to everyone who is trying to figure out how to market their business in this new Web 2.0 age. It does lay out the steps you should take in a very systematic way. Based upon my reading, here are the things I am doing wrong in my inbound marketing activities. You can read the first 5 listed items in last week’s blog. These are the last 5 out of 10 items.
6. I Have No Mechanism to Touch My Prospects When They Are Not Yet Ready To Buy
We contact prospects and leads, we talk to them, we give them quotes on printed products when they ask for them. However, if they are not ready to buy from us at that point, we don’t really maintain a way to keep in touch with them until they are ready to buy. We do try and put them on our monthly email marketing list but there is no process of touching these people in a special way. From my reading, I do believe that it is important that our prospects that are not ready to buy at this point, are contacted on at least a monthly basis and that at the end of a pre-determined point such as six months, we give them a call.
7. I Am Not Controlling My Databases
We have customer, prospect and lead information all over the place and it is not well controlled in any of our locations. We need an integrated database of contact information and within this database, we need to have as much information on each contact as possible. For existing customers, we need to document and summarize their buying habits so we can better serve them in the future and for prospects and leads, we need to be able to document each contact we have made with them, how we obtained the lead and how we plan on continuing to contact them.
8. I Am Not Analysing The Success of Each of My Marketing Channels
Actually, this was the biggest Ah Ha moment I experienced from Inbound Marketing. I have seen the sales funnels many times before in many sales books and in many contact management systems but I have never put much credibility in them. What I learned from Inbound Marketing is that there needs to be several of the sales funnels for each operation. Each funnel is designated by how the lead is generated or obtained. Marketing channels differ from each other in terms of success rates and time to close and once those differences are identified, then an analysis can be made as to how cost effective each marketing channel is in getting to the sale. By doing this, the more inefficient marketing channels can be reduced or eliminated and more time and money can be devoted to the more productive areas. Some of the marketing channels (funnels) I foresee setting up are: leads from cold calls, SEM efforts, website (SEO) efforts, telemarketing calls and targeted companies (Book of Lists).
9. I Am Not Analysing the Reach of My Social Media Efforts
One of the great things about Social Media, is that you can measure your reach fairly easy. How many followers do you have on Twitter, how many first time visitors to you have to your webpage, how many calls and emails do you get from your SEM efforts, how many fans do you have on your company FaceBook page, how many subscribers do I have for my blog and how many connections do you have on LinkedIn. I measure none of that although the information is readily available. It is time to start setting up my charts and showing how my efforts are being rewarded by the growth in reach.
10. I Am Trying To Do This All Myself
In these economic times, keeping down our payroll costs is critical to the growth and survival of my three AlphaGraphics centers. So I am doing almost all of the marketing and social media efforts on my own. I am not a trained marketing person, but I am learning rapidly about what I need to do to promote my business in this day and age. I do know, that as the economy improves, I will be looking for someone to help me in my Social Media efforts, both from a creative and technical standpoint. Doing all of this is kind of fun, but I know, from experience that I will get bored fairly rapidly. As I always say, my next employee will be hired to do what I am currently doing.
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